Club owner offers plan to reduce rowdiness

Fells Point bar faced ultimatum from city

November 06, 2001|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Bowing to public pressure, the owner of Fells Point Cafe/Club 723 submitted a proposal to Baltimore City yesterday offering to enforce a dress code, raise the age limit for patrons and train bouncers, among other restrictions.

The proposal occurred more than a week after owner Thomas Hicks met with Fells Point neighbors and police, who said they are fed up with large crowds and violence outside the club at 723 S. Broadway. A patron was killed a block from the club last month.

At the meeting, Hicks was given until yesterday to submit a proposal addressing the demands.

Liquor board and police officials had told him to hire off-duty police officers for security and enforce a dress code that would deter "hoodlums" from frequenting his establishment. If he refused, they said they would start arresting crowds that loiter outside the tavern.

"I'm trying to follow the suggestions the city gave me," Hicks said yesterday. "I'm willing to give it a shot."

Among the eight "terms of agreement" he submitted:

Admit no one under 21.

Enforce a dress code requiring that dress shirts be worn and prohibiting sneakers, athletic gear and bandannas.

Hire an off-duty police officer for security three nights a week.

Require bouncers to complete training through the Baltimore Police Department.

The proposal, submitted to Mayor Martin O'Malley's Office of Neighborhoods, must be approved by the Fells Point community before it becomes regulation.

It will be discussed at the Nov. 28 meeting of the Fells Point Taskforce, a group of residents, community leaders and business owners.

"We will have a meeting of minds and personalities," said Nan Rohrer, a neighborhood liaison.

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